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Welcome to the 2003 Forestry Program for Oregon

Oregon is justly renowned for the magnificence of its forests-some of the most beautiful and productive in the world. Forests have shaped Oregon's history since presettlement times, and they continue to define the state's economy, society, and culture. Oregon's forestlands contribute greatly to our state's environmental, economic, and social well-being.
 
The Forestry Program for Oregon is the strategic plan established by the Oregon Board of Forestry. It sets forth the board's mission and vision for Oregon's forests and the values and strategies that will guide the board's decisions over the next eight years. This edition of the Forestry Program for Oregon also introduces a new framework for discovering, discussing, and assessing the sustainability of Oregon's forests.
 
Three sectors
It is sometimes assumed that the benefits from the forest cannot equally achieve environmental, economic, and social goals-that what is gained in one sector is necessarily lost in another. The Board of Forestry believes, on the contrary, that sustainable forest management can and must succeed in all three sectors. To be truly sustainable, forest management must be economically viable, environmentally robust, and socially acceptable.
 
If environmental values are not protected, forest health and productivity will suffer. If economic values are not honored, society cannot afford to protect the environment or provide social benefits from forests. If social values are not accommodated, the license to manage forests for any purpose will be lost. Acknowledging this interdependence among values is key to supporting sustainability. The Board of Forestry recognizes that integrating the environmental, economic, and social sectors is critical to Oregon's future.
 
In this fifth edition of the Forestry Program for Oregon, the Board of Forestry is expressing its conviction that Oregon's forests can and do support the state's economic well-being and strengthen its social fabric. At the same time, they represent a range of forest ownerships, owner objectives, and natural ecosystems that are sustainable across the landscape and through time.
 
Three principles
This Forestry Program for Oregon sets forth the Board of Forestry's strategic vision for Oregon's forests for the next eight years. This vision is based on three principles:
 
Widely recognized international criteria and indicators serve as a useful framework for discovering, discussing, and assessing the sustainability of Oregon's forests.
 
Sustainability requires maintaining a diversity of forestland ownerships and management objectives across the landscape and through time.
Cooperative, non-regulatory methods are strongly preferred in achieving public benefits on private lands.
 
A language for discussion and measurement
To fulfill the first principle, the board has decided to use an internationally recognized framework for assessing sustainability of forests. This framework was crafted by 12 nations with forests like ours. These nations recognized the need to keep forests sustainable in all three sectors-economic, environmental, and social. They developed a system that establishes criteria for organizing discussions about sustainability, and indicators for measuring progress. The international framework does not establish targets or goals. It is simply a "language for discussion and measurement" in which citizens and experts alike may have an ongoing conversation, come to a common understanding of forest sustainability, and work together to determine their own goals. The Board of Forestry has adapted this system to Oregon's particular circumstances.
 
The Board of Forestry believes using this framework will help make sustainable forest management demonstrable and measurable, and it will enable Oregon's citizens to discuss forest management and policy in a common language. By choosing the international criteria and adapting them to Oregon's needs, the board has made Oregon the first state in the nation to embrace this "language for discussion and measurement" of forest sustainability. Within this framework, the board hopes to encourage all forest landowners, forest managers, and citizens to learn this language, and to work together to achieve sustainability of our forests in all three sectors.
 
A healthy diversity
To fulfill the second principle, this Forestry Program for Oregon supports the diversity of ownerships that now characterizes Oregon's forestlands. Oregon's forests are held by a rich variety of owners-federal, tribal, state, and local governments, as well as private industrial owners and family forest landowners. The board believes that the optimum mix of economic, environmental, and social benefits can be achieved only through a diversity of owners managing for a variety of objectives and values (See sidebar p. 3).1 These varied benefits are the product of different actions in different places at different times. The ownerships complement one another precisely because not every acre of forest is managed in the same way for the same thing. The board believes that, like ecosystem diversity, ownership diversity enhances forest sustainability. It gives Oregon a strong foundation for assessing whether our forests are in total being managed sustainably.
 
Emphasizing incentives over regulations
Private forest landowners are regulated in many ways. These lands already provide many public benefits, such as sustaining watershed health, keeping the land in forest cover, and contributing to the vibrancy of rural communities. To fulfill the third principle, this Forestry Program for Oregon supports cooperation and incentives as the preferred tools for promoting desired public benefits on private lands. This document, therefore, should not be viewed as a recipe for future government regulations.
 
Framing the future
The 2003 Forestry Program for Oregon expresses the Board of Forestry's vision of how Oregon's private and public forest landowners can work with the rest of Oregon's citizens to ensure that our forests are managed for the best mix of economic, environmental, and social benefits, as defined by Oregonians themselves. This document is therefore a work in progress, a framework for shaping the future of Oregon's forests over the next eight years. It is a conversation with Oregonians, a conversation that will, we hope, lead to a more unified vision of forest sustainability and a more united effort to achieve it.

Managing diverse forests for different purposes: A pathway to sustainable forestry
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Oregon's forests are diverse, and so are the objectives of forest landowners. To promote sustainable forest management, we first focus on sustaining our forestland base, and then take advantage of different management strategies for different forest types, ownerships, and locations.
 
Forest management strategies can be grouped into four broad categories:
 
Wood production  
Much of the world's wood will come from this forest use.
Goal: Most efficient wood/fiber production
Challenges:
- Increase wood yield up to two times over natural rates
- Reduce environmental footprint
- Improve product quality
- Produce high return on investment
- Maintain social license to operate
 
Multiple-resource
Most of the world's accessible forest will be in integrated management.
Goal: Meet various landowner objectives
Challenges:
- Optimize joint production of products and benefits
- Sustain desired diversity of environmental, economic, community conditions and results; i.e., risk, forest  health, vitality, productivity
- Produce multiple benefits at reasonable costs
 
Reserve
Parks, reserves, wilderness, special areas for natural, cultural values.
Challenges:
- Manage people to reduce impacts
- Manage forests to restore "naturalness"
- Manage ecosystems to be resilient to natural disturbances, such as wildfire, and resistant to invasive species, pollution, other human-caused disturbances
 
Residential value emphasis
Urban and community forests, forested rural residential areas, wildland/urban interface areas.
Challenges:
- Connect people with forest resources
- Maintain pleasant neighborhoods
- Conserve resources
- Minimize sprawl
- Safety to life and property, risk reduction
- Maintain and enhance wildlife habitats